Judging A Book By Its Cover | Ikari Warriors

Taking a close look at game covers and trying to figure out what makes them so dang awesome… or not some much.

So, I’m “window shopping” on Ebay, as I often do during my downtime at home or work, and I come across someone selling a game called Ikari Warriors for the Atari 2600. I’ve heard this name tossed around here and there, but really I know nothing about it. The price was good for something that was complete in box so I go in to have a closer look. The artwork for the box of this game…THE ARTWORK!! It is amazing….ly bad, but it’s also amazingly good if you know what I mean. It’s one of those games where you can just look at the picture and know exactly what era it’s from; the 80’s. My gracious…the 80’s. Was there ever a more random, brightly colored, tough guy with skin tight leather pants personification of a time period? Honestly if the 80’s were to be translated into a person it would be Bill Paxton from the first Terminator movie.

He fit all the criteria I just mentioned…except the pants that is. We all know Schwarzenegger steals those for himself and through some sort of movie magic manages to fit into them. But seriously, speaking of the The Governator, the Atari 2600 cover of Ikari Warriors just screams Predator to me. Except these two guys look more like they have absolutely no idea what they’re doing in this war zone and they deeply regret whatever course of action it was that landed them here.

First of all, they are very clearly on fire and the look on their faces says they know it. They also have the same face, and body and outfit…they must be a team…a twin team! The guy in front has two guns and a bunch of grenades though, while the other guy just has a gun he doesn’t seem to know how to hold. Twin #1 must be the team leader. Or maybe he’s just a bigger showboat than Twin #2, I mean he does have his coat wide open to display his rippling, hairless chest while he double fists a pair of machine guns. They both also appear to have their eyes closed as they empty their clips into who knows what. At least Twin #2 is shooting at somewhat ground level, but has a heavy trigger finger paired with self imposed blindness ever really brought anyone to the doors of success? Twin #1 seems to have completely gone off the rails and is firing into the sky Keanu Reeves from Point Break style. I suppose being on fire will do that to a person.

Hopefully those choppers in the background are also on the same team and they can help remove the Train Wreck Twins from the situation. Or maybe that’s exactly why they are on fire in the first place…*cough*

After a little bit of research it would seem that not only was Ikari Warriors initially an arcade game, but it was released on just about every other console in existence at the time. Each release was paired with an equally disastrous looking cover, all generally following the same format just with different art styles. You’d think at some point one of the artists would have said “Hey, let’s make these guys look tough AND confident.” It was not to be though. The game did get two sequels and even a few spin offs so clearly it’s a game worth giving a shot. A metaphorical shot that is….with my eyes open at the very least.

And here is the box art in all of its glory!!

Let me know your opinion on Ikari Warriors’ cover in all its fire-blasted glory. Have you played the actual game?


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